Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability logo

We've got a new name! Read the announcement. (A new website is under development.)

August 10, 2021

‘A Rallying Cry’: What the UN’s New Climate Report Means for North Carolina

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

A report released Monday by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change evaluated the most up-to-date climate science and determined it is “unequivocal” that climate change has been caused by humans’ emissions of greenhouse gases. The report also warned that failing to curb emissions as soon as possible would result in more severe consequences.

“You would like this to be a galvanizing force,” Kate Konschnik, director of the Climate and Energy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, told The News & Observer. “In the policy piece of the report, you can tell that there really is that intent to say, 'Let’s use this as a rallying cry.'”

The News & Observer reports that the climate assessment comes as North Carolina legislators are debating an energy bill that could shape carbon emissions in the state for decades and as cabinet agencies try to fulfill the clean energy goals set out in Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 80.

Earlier this year, the Nicholas Institute and the University of North Carolina’s Center for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Economics issued a report analyzing carbon-reduction policies to meet the North Carolina Clean Energy Plan's emissions targets for the power sector.